Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Crab rationalization, five years in

The staff of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council has released a new report titled "Five-Year Review of the Crab Rationalization Management Program for Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Fisheries."

Find the document plus a couple of important appendices on the council's website.

One appendix is a "social impact assessment" of crab rationalization, while the other analyzes the "safety performance" of the program.

Altogether, we have nearly 600 pages of reading here. The perfect pastime for a long Thanksgiving weekend!


Anonymous said...

Pages of horse crap as far as I'm concerned. Anything written, produced and assembled by this nefarious group is all a self serving lie, flat out.

Anonymous said...

The analysis appears to be legitimate, as far as I can tell. But that doesn't mean that it is complete.

Yes, individual boats that participate in the fishery catch more crab than before rationalization. But what about the boat owners that no longer participate? What about the costs of leasing quota in order to catch more crab? What of the impact to the communities from the loss of participation of the vessels that have left?

Sure, deckhands that have a job now make more money from crab fishing than before rationalization, at least overall, even if they get less on a per pound basis due to loss of negotiating power (a valid point that the report does not shie away from). But what about the deckhands that are shut out? What about the ripple effects on the community from the displacement of these workers?

Council staff, when asked, will fall back on the stock excuse of "insufficient data" to support analysis of these effects. Thus, dock talk and rumour is the best information about what is happening to our communities as an entire industry is restructured into a network of absentee resource barons and exploited sharecroppers. What a shame that the program did not include a provision that would require the windfall winners to disclose all financial shenanigans that serve to pauperize Alaska's coastal communities.